Procedures. If a gear or fishery does not appear on the list in 600.725(v), or if the gear is different from that defined in 600.10, the process for notification, and consideration by a Council or the Director, is as follows:
(1) Notification. After July 26, 1999, no person or vessel may employ fishing gear or engage in a fishery not included on the list of approved gear types in § 600.725(v) without notifying the appropriate Council or the Director at least 90 days before the intended use of that gear.
(2) Notification procedures.
(i) A signed return receipt for the notice serves as adequate evidence of the date that the notification was received by the appropriate Council or the Director, in the case of Atlantic highly migratory species, and establishes the beginning of the 90-day notification period, unless required information in the notification is incomplete.
(ii) The notification must include:
(A) Name, address, and telephone number of the person submitting the notification.
(B) Description of the gear.
(C) The fishery or fisheries in which the gear is or will be used.
(D) A diagram and/or photograph of the gear, as well as any specifications and dimensions necessary to define the gear.
(E) The season(s) in which the gear will be fished.
(F) The area(s) in which the gear will be fished.
(G) The anticipated bycatch species associated with the gear, including protected species, such as marine mammals, sea turtles, sea birds, or species listed as endangered or threatened under the ESA.
(H) How the gear will be deployed and fished, including the portions of the marine environment where the gear will be deployed (surface, midwater, and bottom).
(iii) Failure to submit complete and accurate information will result in a delay in beginning the 90-day notification period. The 90-day notification period will not begin until the information received is determined to be accurate and complete.
(3) Action upon receipt of notification -
(i) Species other than Atlantic Highly Migratory Species.
(A) Upon signing a return receipt of the notification by certified mail regarding an unlisted fishery or gear, a Council must immediately begin consideration of the notification and send a copy of the notification to the appropriate Regional Administrator.
(B) If the Council finds that the use of an unlisted gear or participation in a new fishery would not compromise the effectiveness of conservation and management efforts, it shall:
(1) Recommend to the RA that the list be amended;
(2) Provide rationale and supporting analysis, as necessary, for proper consideration of the proposed amendment; and
(3) Provide a draft proposed rule for notifying the public of the proposed addition, with a request for comment.
(C) If the Council finds that the proposed gear or fishery will be detrimental to conservation and management efforts, it will recommend to the RA that the authorized list of fisheries and gear not be amended, that a proposed rule not be published, give reasons for its recommendation of a disapproval, and may request NMFS to publish emergency or interim regulations, and begin preparation of an FMP or amendment to an FMP, if appropriate.
(D) After considering information in the notification and Council's recommendation, NMFS will decide whether to publish a proposed rule. If information on the new gear or fishery being considered indicates it is likely that it will compromise conservation and management efforts under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, and no additional new information is likely to be gained from a public comment period, then a proposed rule will not be published and NMFS will notify the appropriate Council. In such an instance, NMFS will publish emergency or interim regulations to prohibit or restrict use of the gear or participation in the fishery. If NMFS determines that the proposed amendment is not likely to compromise conservation and management efforts under the Magnuson-Stevens Act, NMFS will publish a proposed rule in the Federal Register with a request for public comment.
(ii) Atlantic Highly Migratory Species.
(A) Upon signing a return receipt of the notification by certified mail regarding an unlisted fishery or gear for Atlantic highly migratory species (HMS), NMFS will immediately begin consideration of the notification.
(B) Based on information in the notification and submitted by the Council, NMFS will make a determination whether the use of an unlisted gear or participation in an unlisted HMS fishery will compromise the effectiveness of conservation and management efforts under the Magnuson-Stevens Act. If it is determined that the proposed amendment will not compromise conservation and management efforts, NMFS will publish a proposed rule.
(C) If NMFS finds that the proposed gear or fishery will be detrimental to conservation and management efforts in this initial stage of review, it will not publish a proposed rule and notify the applicant of the negative determination with the reasons therefor.
(4) Final determination and publication of a final rule. Following public comment, NMFS will approve or disapprove the amendment to the list of gear and fisheries.
(i) If approved, NMFS will publish a final rule in the Federal Register and notify the applicant and the Council, if appropriate, of the final approval.
(ii) If disapproved, NMFS will withdraw the proposed rule, notify the applicant and the Council, if appropriate, of the disapproval; publish emergency or interim regulations, if necessary, to prohibit or restrict the use of gear or the participation in a fishery; and either notify the Council of the need to amend an FMP or prepare an amendment to an FMP in the case of Atlantic highly migratory species.